Soccer

Karim Benzema ruled out of World Cup with injury

France striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup after struggling an injury to his left thigh throughout coaching on Saturday in Doha, the French federation have confirmed.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner felt a robust ache in his thigh throughout a dash towards the tip of the coaching session.

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After present process an MRI, it was confirmed that Benzema had suffered a muscle tear that would wish three weeks of restoration time.

The 2022 World Cup, which begins on Sunday and runs by way of the ultimate on Dec. 18, will now be the primary since 1978 to not characteristic the reigning Ballon d’Or winner.

France start the defence of the World Cup title they received in 2018 when taking over Australia on Tuesday. Per FIFA guidelines, they may have till 24 hours earlier than their first recreation to call a alternative to their squad.

France’s different ahead choices of their squad embody 2018 star Kylian Mbappe as effectively Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Marcus Thuram and Ousmane Dembele.

“I am extremely sad for Karim, who had made this World Cup a major objective,” coach Didier Deschamps mentioned in an announcement. “Despite this new blow for the French team, I have full confidence in my group. We will do everything to meet the huge challenge that awaits us.”

Benzema additionally addressed his withdrawal in an Instagram post.

“I’ve never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done,” he mentioned. “So reason tells me to give my place to someone who can help our squad have a great World Cup. Thanks for all your messages of support.”

France’s preparations in Qatar had already been hit by the injury withdrawals of RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku and Paris Saint-Germain centre again Presnel Kimpembe.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Monaco’s Axel Disasi have been named as replacements.

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Benzema was France’s prime scorer on the 2014 World Cup however didn’t play of their victorious 2018 World Cup marketing campaign as a result of he was nonetheless exiled from the group for his alleged function in a sex-tape scandal with then-France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Deschamps recalled him for final yr’s European Championship, the place he was France’s prime scorer with 4 targets.

The 34-year-old loved a career-best season with Real Madrid final marketing campaign, ending as prime scorer in LaLiga (27 targets) and the Champions League (15 targets) to steer the Spanish giants to each main trophies.

However, he has battled accidents all through the primary half of this season.

He had performed solely 26 minutes of soccer previously month as a result of of muscular fatigue, and Saturday was the primary time he was coaching with the France squad since they bought collectively on Monday.

Deschamps was optimistic that his striker might get better in time, however Saturday’s injury has now ruled him out of the event.

Even earlier than naming his squad, the France coach was with out long-term injury absentees Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante — two key gamers when Les Bleus received the World Cup in Russia 4 years in the past.

Information from the Associated Press was used on this report.




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